Farmer to Farmer

The Cape Breton Farmer to Farmer Retreat, held Saturday, January 13, 2018 at the Baddeck Forks Community Hall, was planned as an event for current farmers and aspiring farmers to share knowledge, build connections, and share a meal. The CB Farmer to Farmer Retreat welcomed 38 participants to discuss issues that matter among food producers in Cape Breton. The event included:

  • 38 participants
  • 11 discussion sessions
  • Farm-friendly meal provided by chef Bryan Picard
  • 5 counties represented: Inverness, Richmond, Victoria, Cape Breton and Antigonish

Session Topics and Highlights:

  • Mushroom Cultivation
  • Grants/Subsidies
  • Land Sharing/Mentoring
  • Off Grid
  • More Money
  • Permaculture
  • Sourcing Food From the Forest
  • Animal Breeds and Vegetable Varieties
  • Soil
  • Beekeeping
  • Input Costs vs. Sustainability/Survivability

At the end of the session, participants agreed that:

  • Mentorship program needed to connecting new entrants with mentors.
  • Access to meat processing and abattoir services.

The IFN will explore the following next steps:

  • Abattoir and meat processing information session with Dept. of Ag.
  • Soils and Market Gardening Workshop with experts from Perennia

The following are mentorship programs available in the region:

SOIL Apprenticeship
SOIL links Canadian farmers willing to take on and train apprentices with folks wanting to work and learn on an organic farm using sustainable practices.

ACORN Grow-a-Farmer Program
ACORN’s Grow A Farmer Initiative promotes organic farming as a viable and empowering form of livelihood. With a focus on farmer-to-farmer training, the activities intend to cultivate, renew and diversify the organic sector in Atlantic Canada, through the preservation, growth, and use of local knowledge, land and community.

START Program
Wage subsidy program delivered by Employment Nova Scotia available to employers with a labour need willing to support ready-to-work Nova Scotians.